Monday, May 07, 2007

Right in the middle of house hunting the transmission on my little car gave up the ghost. Since the car is 10 years old and has almost 200,000 miles on it, we wanted to replace it. We may still repair it, but we didn't want to have to trust it exclusively. Guess what that meant? Yep, a Sunday spent car shopping!

We ended up purchasing a 2007 Nissan Xterra. It's a bit of a gas guzzler (we're getting 20 mpg) and I know I'm supposed to be "green" and all that, but damn it, I liked this one! It's easy to get in and out of, it sits up and I can see over the cars in front of me, and it's solid. When you shut the door it makes a satisfying thunk sound.... it's definitely not an aluminum can!!

We are supposed to be closing on the house this Thursday and getting the keys that day. Then all the major moving begins. I have several loads of boxes all ready to go and WAAAY more than that to sort and pack still! The garage needs to be cleaned out and sorted with lots of stuff going to the dump, Goodwill, and freecycle. The weekend of the 19th/20th we'll be moving the larger furniture and washer/dryer, then the last week of the month we'll shuttle back and forth, doing painting and cleaning here at the rental house.

It's going to be a busy 3 weeks for us, so don't look for a post anytime soon. Once we're moved in I'll take some pictures of the new abode and put them here!

Sunday, May 06, 2007

Wow, it's been a loooong time since I posted! Sorry about that, life got away from me for a while, and is going to get away from me again shortly.

On a crafting note, I've done nothing! Well, I've done a bit but not much. I finished up a baby quilt for a friends baby shower. It came out well, just a basic irish chain in baby boy prints. I don't know if I got a photo of it, but if I remember I'll look for one and get it posted.

I'm up to the waist shaping for the Emerald sweater, which is probably about where I was the last time I posted! I admit that it's fallen by the wayside as a project, but I do hope to get back to it before fall.

I picked up two skeins of Sea Silk on ebay a few months ago (what wonderful stuff!) and I cast on for the 1 skein scarf whose pattern was included with my purchase. It's lovely yarn to work with and I've got a few repeats done, but again, nothing to really brag about!

On the life front, things have been really hectic. I've been working, babysitting my grandson, reading a ton of books (fiction, not nursing thank god!), and just living. However, during that time, Rick and I took the plunge and bought our first house.

Yep, we're quite a bit older than your normal first time home buyers. We are both divorced and "owned" homes with our exes, but his was a combination home/shop that was on a seller contract, and mine was a mobile home on a park on a seller contract. The point is, this was the first time we've dealt with the realtor/mortgage broker system.

And what a system it is! To be honest, we have some credit issues. I've been out of work for 8 years and in school for 4 of those years, and my older kids keep moving in and out and having their own financial issues that we end up helping with. Anyway, we couldn't qualify for a regular fixed rate mortgage. Countless time was spent applying with different brokers trying to find one that could help us find financing.

We did find a broker, but let me tell you... think long and hard about this decision. If you use alternative financing you're going to pay a lot of interest on your loan, plus you're going to pay a premium price for the house you end up buying. Since we feel that within 2 years we will have improved our credit score enough to refinance with a fixed rate mortgage we decided we'd go ahead and pay the price now. At least we'll be building some equity instead of tossing it away on rent!

The broker introduced us to a realtor. The first one did NOTHING for us. I got 2 total emails from him in a month, with no suggestions of homes we could purchase. (I should add that with our financing, we couldn't just buy any home. We had to find one where the owner was willing to carry a 2nd mortgage). Anyway, we finally got a new realtor who was awesome!

End result, we bought a house. We're closing this week and starting to move in as soon as we have the keys. Much packing and sorting has been going on, revealing an embarrassment of fiber/yarn/fabric riches! I have a prodigious stash of stuff (as I've stated before) and will do some stash revealing when I start unpacking in my new craft room! The house is 2500 square feet with 3 bedrooms, 3 bonus rooms, 2.25 baths (with the plumbing stubbed into the 1/2 bath for a shower), living room, huge family room, tons of storage, 2 fireplaces, a gazebo with a hot tub, and a large playhouse for Damien!

More on this later, along with the surprise purchase we made in between house shopping!